I apologize for my lack of participation. With my own health issues, the loss of my niece and best friend and one of my Rotties last year, another close friend this year, my postings have been rare.
However I wanted to share and see if others have had similar experiences and really just let others know what has happened here.
As some may recall, about 3 yrs ago we went through strange inflammations, 3 surgeries, massive testing etc w/ Sayblee and the final dx being some autoimmune problem. She had been doing find for about 1 1/2 yrs.
Then in April Sayblee's jowls blew up like balloons, felt her knees and found lumps there also… Lymphoma dx on April 8. It has been a total roller coaster.
First chemo (btw ALL lymphnodes went away overnight) no support given, no return calls when she was crashing, had to take to another vet. Both my vet and new very openly said the 1st (largest near me so I THOUGHT best) notorious for doing that, then charging for hospitalization. She was in such distress she literally was throwing up bowel movements.
We tried to continue the Wisconsin protocol, 2rd treatment crashed. Sadly, it led to her kidneys shutting down. We put her in hospital, were able to get them working (still considered kidney failure but doing okay with subq fluids). The vet feels she had ongoing kidney disease that the crash simply pushed it over the edge. We do urine strips regularly but I had them test her to make sure not fanconi... nope.
One worrisome thing I need to share was some calcification. The chemo vet thinks it may be related to simply giving her Vitamin C supplement. She said she NEVER EVER recommends it because it only changes urine pH, doesn't treat ANY problem that pH balance would be caused by, and... like Sayblee... can result in calcification. She does not feel it was significant enough to be an issue yet, but needless to say I threw out my Vit C that I have been giving my dogs for 10 yr. Little or no benefit, very slight but deadly side effect... throw it out.
Because of kidneys, decided to try a new protocol usually used as "rescue" (ie when the normal chemo won't get back in remission) called Lomustine. Had her on it 2 treatments, so suppressed her bone marrow that even with shot to boost, afraid to try again as usually when get that low with THAT drug it doesn't recover. So we went back to a modified Wisconsin with just Vincristine & Cyclophoshamide w/steroids.
To sort of be concise, we have had reactions to 2 types of steroids so far, trying 3rd. She has had only TWO treatments when were supposed to. Every other time CBC so bad had to wait for blood values to come up.
So in almost 4 mos, instead of having had over 16 treatments, she has probably managed 7. And instead of the estimed $2600 for the whole thing, we are well over $4000 and very little chemo, mostly support meds/treatments recovering FROM the chemo.
On the upside, she keeps responding well to the chemo, even when they cut the last dose in half. However, she got sick, had to wait 2 wks and the lymphoma is back in her face and neck with a vengeance. But except that first treatment, she has been very normal, doing great. So how do you quit when they won't?
My chemo vet said she has never had a dog who has had so much problems with everything done. And I am wondering if others have had particularly rough roads with chemo with their senji?
As for Sayblee, this last chemo hasn't done much. We will try the new steroid tonight (waiting for the pharmacy to call) and if that doesn't do it, we'll give another round of the other drug next week. At that point, I may have to accept that we are not going to get her back into remission.
I started this with such hope, an 85 to 90 percent chance of remission for a year or more, so many people with dog 5 to 7 yrs out and her everything going for her... feeling good, being only 7, healthy. Now I know we are simply treading water and going on as long as I can give her quality weeks.
Had anyone told me I would need close to $5000, brink of financial ruin (have had major electrical rewiring and other things before this so it could not possibly have come at worse time), to buy her 4 or 5 mos.. of course I would never have done it. But I couldn't not try when we had good odds. And at least when the time comes, I know I did everything I could.
I do think that her immune issues are a big part of it. She has so little natural reserve.